Health knowledge made personal

pauldorn Patient Expert

Sacramento, California
Paul Dorn is a writer and activist in Northern California, presently residing in Sacramento. In 1997 he created the popular bicycle commuting advice website at runmuki.com/commute. Dorn is the co-author (with Roni Sarig) of The Bike to Work Guide: What You Need to Know to Save Gas, Go Green, Get... Full Bio
› Share page:

Posts

Sort by: Most recent | Name
Bike commuters laugh at the cold by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Iowa City Press Citizen, 12.03.08: Biking is a great way to get around in the summer, but come winter a warm car sounds a lot better than a frosty saddle and bit ... Read on »
Bicycles with belt drives excite commuters by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 11.23.08 : Bikes are breaking the chain Ease of use could help industry's popularity surge If you've ever been riding down the st ... Read on »
Bicycles with belt drives excite commuters by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 11.23.08: Bikes are breaking the chain Ease of use could help industry's popularity surge If you've ever been riding down the stree ... Read on »
Ohio: Biking gains in small town by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Mt. Vernon News (Ohio), 05.30.08: More people commuting on bikes MOUNT VERNON — David Carter has been pounding the pedals of his bicycle and riding to wor ... Read on »
Tucson: Bike boulevards gaining support by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Tucson Citizen, 05.31.08: 'Bicycle' boulevards getting positive spin Planners envision routes that will ring the city What once was seen as a recreatio ... Read on »
Illinois: Springfield residents take to bikes by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Chicago Tribune, 06.01.08: More Springfield residents take to bikes It took a close encounter with a deer on the highway to get Phillip Wilson thinking ab ... Read on »
John Pucher: Cycling for everyone by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking This is a great video of a presentation by John Pucher, professor of planning and policy development at Rutgers University, speaking to an audience at Simon Fraser Univ ... Read on »
Florida: Bicycles more popular by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From The Ledger (Lakeland, FL), 06.08.08: With Increasing Gas Prices, Bicycles Quickly Becoming More Popular Gas prices...played a role in Peggy Strickland's decis ... Read on »
Nonagenarian rides 56-year-old bike by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Fresno Bee, 06.03.08: Classic Schwinn cruiser: At 92, Fred Mathes still rides 56-year-old three-speed Fred Mathes rides his bike to the post office (which ... Read on »
Bike commuting: Reaching the tipping point? by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking


When it comes to bicycling, are we approaching a favorable tipping point?

A recent Bike Commute Tips Blog post on the surge in bicycling in Massachusetts prompted a comment from a reader:

All these stories about high gas prices getting people back on their bikes...It makes me wonder, is all of this a momentary blip? Or are these stories...chronicling a sea change? Is it possible that we are at a tipping point in American culture, where the idea that bikes are a viable means of transportation becomes mainstream? One thing is sure: people's attitudes are changing, and we are at a unique and exciting time in our history.
Another reader commented that $4 a gallon gas isn't a tipping point, as motorists can adapt to improve efficiency by buying smaller cars or hybrids, and the collapse of SUV sales is one sign this is happening.

Have we reached a tipping point?

I agree that higher gas prices alone-- even the much prayed for $10 a gallon --aren't enough to break America's auto addiction. Proactive advocacy by bicyclists will still be necessary. The media and policy makers are paying attention, bicyclists are being heard and we are making our case. Which makes this moment an exciting one for alternative transportation advocates.

Transit demand is also surging, and this presents an opportunity for bicycle activists. I've always believed that bicyclists succeed when they build coalitions with transit, environmental, and community advocates. We can help foster bicycle commuting by joining with transit advocates to call for improved transit, while simultaneously demanding improved bike access.

This opportunity is illustrated by a recent article in San Jose Mercury News, 'Large shifts in behavior' during commutes create new problems:
Transit ridership is up across the Bay Area, but riders say parking at Caltrain and BART lots is so jammed that you have to arrive before 6:30 a.m. to find a free spot. More drivers appear to be leaving their cars at home and bicycling to transit, but bike racks are filling up on local buses and Caltrain, and some riders are being left behind.
Many of these rapidly crowding transit agencies might be tempted to reduce bicycle capacity to make more space for passengers. Bike advocates need to join transit advocates to demand more frequent service to relieve overcrowding and more dedicated bike parking facilities such as the Palo Alto Bikestation or Warm Planet Bikes.

We should also challenge free vehicle parking at transit stations, and urge fees that could be used to improve transit service. To me, this would be the tipping point: Seeing public support for raising the cost of driving to support alternatives. We're not there yet. But there is clearly a favorable trend--which I trace back to the passage of ISTEA in 1991--which bicycling advocates need to exploit.

What would you consider the tipping point?

Visit:Americans Driving At Historic Lows: Eleven Billion Fewer Vehicle Miles Traveled in March 2008 Over Previous March, U.S. Department of Transportation
Visit:GM Mulls Dumping Iconic, Gas-Guzzling Hummer Brand, CNN
Visit:Will We Ever Get Out of Our Cars, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit:Bicycling against car culture, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit:Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site
Read on »
Shreveport: The sign says to bike! by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Shreveport Times, 06.07.08: More ways than cars to get around town Cars and trucks and SUVs aren't the only options of transport in a time when my weekly ... Read on »
Colorado Springs: Praying for $10 gal. gas by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Colorado Springs Gazette, 06.06.08: Cyclists push for bike-friendly city Al Brody is praying for $10 a gallon gas. No, Al is not crazy. He's sane. He's br ... Read on »
Madison: Bike Commuter of the Year by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Isthmus (Madison, WI), 06.06.08: The Madison Bike Commuter of the Year for 2008 is Terri Felton, who bikes to work between Madison and Waunakee through ... Read on »
Getting comfortable on a bike by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Oregonian (Portland), 06.05.08: Proper fit, warmup keys to preventing cycling aches To any cyclist who's had aches in the neck, back or hands, there's hel ... Read on »
Sacramento: Bicycling gaining big by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the Sacramento Bee, 06.04.08: Bicycling in region rolls up big gains For years, cycling advocates have been trying with limited success to spread the word tha ... Read on »
Massachusetts: Bicycling surges by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From WHDH-TV, Boston, 06.01.08: As gas prices soar, so does interest in bicycling in Mass. BOSTON--Drivers clear a lane, bicyclists are taking to the road in recor ... Read on »
Bike joy beats auto pathology by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the American Prospect, 05.30.08: Pedal Pusher As gas prices rise and congestion worsens, cities and commuters alike are starting to embrace bicycles. ...So ... Read on »
Biking, walking gain in San Francisco by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the San Francisco Chronicle, 06.29.08: Commuters ditching cars for bikes, foot power In this era of increasing prices at the pump, bad air quality and general ... Read on »
Bike parking a challenge in NYC by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking From the New York Times, 07.01.08: For City Commuters, Same Old Story for Another Vehicle: Parking Is Scarce Carlos Martinez bicycles to work in Manhattan from his ... Read on »
Bicycle commuting hot, SUV's not by pauldorn Patient Expert Posted in: Blog Posts in Biking I thought this was an interesting finding using Google Trends, a tool from Google that allows users to analyze the trends for search volume for any term. What the graph ... Read on »